Practice Selective Perfectionism: Done is Perfect

Posted By on April 30, 2017

What does A+ work look like to you? An A? A-? B or even a C?

Keep breathing. I know it’s hard to think about doing anything less than supremely, super stellar work. It goes against all of your thinking, and perhaps, even the very soul of who you are.

I like practicing what I call selective perfectionism. There are some things that have to extraordinary, and there are the things that can be ordinary. It takes practice to learn when you can do that and get out of your own way. Practicing perfectionism on everything you do consumes valuable time and energy, and I’ve learned – mostly the hard way – when to get selective.

Does everything you do have to be supremely, super stellar? Let’s take folding bedsheets, particularly the challenging fitted sheet. My mom had a pristine method that I failed to take with me into adulthood. Mom still irons her pillowcases, and I recently gave away my ironing board. I have friends who are fabulous at folding fitted sheets, and I’ve even watched videos. At the end of the day, I’m always saying, “yeah, I’m good.”

As my organizing colleague Donna Smallin Kuper says, “done is perfect.” I fold the sheets the best I am willing to do and place them inside one of the pillowcases to make a self-contained kit. It becomes “grab and go” when it’s time to change the sheets.

It may be a B or even C level of work, depending on who you ask, but it’s done. I consider it an A when I fold sheets instead of just avoiding them in the laundry basket. Tiny victories, people. Tiny victories.

Take a look around your home or office and see where you can practice selective perfectionism. Start small and work your way up to that B or C. Done is perfect.

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